Ever want to be able to do something, but just can't? The desire and passion is there, but the skill and talent are not. For me, it's a few things. Now, many people will say that we can do whatever we want to do in this life, that anyone can learn, blah blah blah. I always wanted to be able to draw. Granted, anyone can "draw." But I wanted to draw like my favorite comic book artists. In the end, I never became that kind of artist. I did start drawing seriously a few years ago in a series of scetchbooks - none of it spectacular, but still a fulfilling endeavor. I created a few neat images. In the true spirit of the word, it is "art." Whatever that means. But I never felt like I could call myself an artist. I tried. I really did. I may even try again someday.
The same goes for music. I have always wanted to be able to play a musical instrument. If I could criticize my parents I would say that they should have pushed me to play something. Anything. But that is the past, and as we all know, the past is one stubborn son of a bitch.
In my defense, I did play hand bells for several years at the church I was raised in. I can read sheet music. But I'm also lazy, hence I never motivated myself to pick up a guitar like my friend down the street, who I think is now in some heavy metal band. In the fifth grade I joined the school band, but was relegated to playing the clarinet ... because we had a clarinet in the house... because my older brother played the clarinet. For my parents, it was an economical choice. Unfortunately, I hated playing the clarinet (even though I was second chair in the band. Boom!)
In college, I bought an old guitar from a friend who said I could get my money back if I ever played it in front of an audience. That's $25 I'll never see again. Though I still have that guitar and was able to teach myself two chords. (One more chord and I can write a song!)
Four years ago I bought a violin and actually took lessons for a few years. Expensive lessons. I still love it, but we live in a small condo and the violin is too loud.
Last year, I bought Lynette a ukulele and have been playing around with it. I just learned how to play Happy Birthday on it!
Last week I bought a banjo. A real, made in the USA banjo. Last night was the first night I had a chance to sit down with it and start picking. The fingerpicks are uncomfortable and will take some getting used to. I had to stick a wadded up shirt in the "pot" to muffle the sound a bit, because James was trying to sleep. A couple times I said to myself, "I can't believe I own a banjo." Then again I'm also still saying, "I can't believe I have a son."
So maybe a banjo is like an infant son. Y'all seen pictures, but don't fully appreciate its glory until you hold one.